Technical Writing, October 17th, 2013


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Technical Writing, October 17th, 2013

  1. 1. TODAY 1) 2) 3) 4) Citations: why they matter APA, MLA, CBE, CSE, “Chicago” Style Activity: citing your sources and checkin’ it twice Homework
  2. 2. Citations With any luck, you learned all of this in 111/112 and remember it, but today, we’re going to talk about references and citation. Citations are of critical importance in technical communication for three reasons:
  3. 3. Reason 1: Ethics. No one wants to trust a lying liar thief liar thief jerkwad thief liar.
  4. 4. Reason 2: Ethos. If you’re giving me information, I want to know you got it from an expert.
  5. 5. Reason 3: Breadcrumbs. If you’re doing it right, you’re not giving your audience ALL of the information in a source. But if the audience WANTS all that information, they need to know how to get it.
  6. 6. Styles Citation styles are really as diverse as publications; many journals will ask for their own little tweaks. But the big, core citation formats are: MLA, APA, CSE and Chicago style/Turabian
  7. 7. MLA MLA format is the style of the Modern Language Association. It is used primarily, as you might guess from the name, in English and other language disciplines, though it is also favored by some of the humanities. Many people learn MLA because they learn citation in an English class.
  8. 8. APA APA is the format of the American Psychological Association. Once favored only by psychologists/psychiatrists, it is now the general format used by all social sciences (sociology, political science, criminal justice) as well as many nursing programs. It is also favored by tech-minded humanities (such as the computers and writing wing of composition) because of the stress it places on dates.
  9. 9. CSE CSE format is dictated by the Council of Science Editors (formerly the Council of Biology Editors/CBE). It is much more varied than MLA and APA, as it varies directly from editor to editor and hasn’t had a major independent style book published for several years. This is problematic, as styles have evolved dramatically in recent years, but the 2006 guide is acceptable.
  10. 10. Chicago Style/Turabian Chicago style was, for years and years, THE style used by almost everyone. The footnotes, with the “ibid” for second references to the same source. It is now used almost exclusively by historians. Some high schools still teach it.
  11. 11. I have posted… … some links to helpful resources for creating citations and reference lists on the course website (with today’s PPT). You’ll want to consult them during the activity.
  12. 12. Activity If you have sources already, you can skip to the next step of this activity. If you don’t, the first thing you need to do is find a potential source for your report. Once you’ve done that, I want you to create a citation for the reference, and write a sentence citing it (mostly to make sure you know how to do the in-text citation; you don’t have to keep the sentence).
  13. 13. When you finish… … find someone using the same citation format and check each other. Talk a bit about how things appear to work in your style. Let me know if you have questions.
  14. 14. Spend the rest of class … doing some research/starting to structure your research report. If I can help, let me know. For next Tuesday, read: Anderson, Chapter 7 And bring in the rough draft of your case study